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Monday, August 22, 2011

Idealism in action!

I realize I write much more about the theoretical aspects of teaching than about what actually goes on in my own classroom. There is something a little absurd in the out-there-ness of my beliefs about what education ought to look like, and the shenanigans that go on daily at my school.

Example 1, from a class of 13 nurses-in-training: After a getting-to-know-you interview game in which the students ask each other question's I've prepared, I split them into teams, asking each team to make up two questions for me.

Student 1: Why is your hair long?
Student 2: Why you come Korea?
Student 3: Out of all the students in this room, who has the prettiest face?

Example 2, from a class of 12 engineers in training: Same situation (yes, I do the same thing with each class.

Student 1: Where you come Korea?
Me: You mean "when?" When did I come to Korea?
Student 1: Yes, yes, when you come Korea?
Me: In 2006. About five years ago. First I lived in Chilgok for two years, then I went traveling. Then I came to YJ about two years ago.
Student 1: Ok.
Student 2: Where your first kiss?
Me: (only dirty thoughts)

Example 3: (Background: it's trendy to have weird or even nonsensical English written on your shirt. The trendiness and level of nonsense may even be proportional.) The following was written on one guy's shirt today.

alike all over the world

At first, I thought this was pretty bland. A bit of funny (if intentional) irony, in that the shirt points towards the uniformity of Korean shirt culture while at the same time entirely participating in it. Also interesting from an international perspective, as it made me reflect on how women in India have been slower than men to adopt western styles, and how even the Indian women I know here in Korea often wear saris around, though their husbands generally wear khakis and dress shirts.

Then, during an activity (running dictation, to be specific) in which the kids were all standing up and darting to and fro, I saw the back of the shirt:

they dress to be annoying to other men


Actually, though, I liked the shirt. It made me think and laugh much more than it annoyed me, which means it didn't serve its purpose. Self-aware and yet self-defeating. Iiiiiiinteresting....

1 comment:

SandfordWrites said...

It does good to do get them speaking. Realization is their responsibility.